January 10, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - This month, many people will vow to make resolutions for their physical health—but what about their financial health?
“Sure, we hear people say that they will spend less money, but spending less should follow with how to better plan for your retirement,” said Rich Rausser, senior vice president of client services at Pentegra Retirement Services. “Resolving to pay more attention to your future is one of the best things you can do for yourself this year.”
Rausser spoke with PLANSPONSOR about important resolutions employees can make this year to save for retirement. Plan sponsors and advisers can help employees be aware of these resolutions by hosting educational meetings. Although Rausser said it is best to hold the meetings before January to prepare for the New Year's resolutions, any time is better than not at all.
Sign up for the company’s retirement plan. “If you are not deferring a portion of your salary to your employer’s 401(k) plan, you certainly should be,” Rausser said. “Any matching contribution is essentially free money—something your employer is happy to give you. And, it is incumbent upon you and your retirement to take it.”
Take advantage of the company match. Employees should also make sure they are taking full advantage of the company's matching funds. If the company provides a 3% match, Rausser still recommends employees defer 6%.